Molting & broken feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by conifermom, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. conifermom

    conifermom New Egg

    Nov 18, 2012
    Our small flock is going through their first molt. Everything seems to be "straightforward" as far as what to expect and changes in behavior. I have been implementing advice that I have been reading regarding supplementing their diet to increase protein intake. One of our ladies (a golden laced wyandotte), however, also has feathers on her wings that are broken at the tip. I am wondering if this is a normal variation of molting? Thanks in advance.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When the new feathers come in, they come in as pin feathers (they look like porcupine pins), which to the untrained eye may appear as broken feathers. Ask me how I know. [​IMG]

    (I thought one of my pullets had broken feathers on the wings one year and it was molt. I actually got rid of the rooster since I thought he was breaking her feathers being too heavy.)
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Show a picture of broken tips.

    Feather quality is not just about protein with respect to nutrition. Other nutrients including fatty acids are important. Try providing BOSS (black oil sunflower seed) or flax seed while birds are in heavy molt. Rate I use is about 5% of diet based on volume so not all that much.

    Also show how birds are confined. If feathers are being beat against coop walls when exercising or getting around roost you can see damage that way as well.

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